The time has come for the first official "Duchess Awards" to be given out for five of the best costume blogs around, covering 18th century costuming. These sites, updated and maintained regularly by avid historical costumers, feature dress diaries, tutorials, research, links, helpful tips and hints, and generally a wealth of information useful and vital to the costume community. So without further ado...
Expertly covering the 18th c. as well as other eras, Kendra keeps an enormously helpful site choc full o' research databases, dress diaries, reference images, and useful links. Her commentary is both entertaining and insightful, and she takes the time to explain to us costume novices, often step-by-step, her methods and motives.
2. Jenny La Fleur
Is there any 18th c. outfit Jenny hasn't made? Her dress diaries are thorough, with plenty of photos of the construction processes as well as finished (and worn!) garments. Her research is sound, commentary refreshing, and costumes well-built and accurate.
3. Mode Historique
Sarah's site covers Medieval through Victorian, with a hearty stop by the 18th c. She has detailed dress diaries of her beautiful gowns as well as helpful entries on accessories such as hair, pockets, and shoes.
4. Katherine's Dress Site (Koshka the Cat)
Katherine's site features in-depth dress diaries, an antique clothing gallery, and fashion plates, as well as lots of photos of her finished costumes. It is easy to navigate, and quite useful, with a section on patterns and tutorials and a past events archive.
Vivien's beautifully designed "modern ladies' book" features not just costume, but inspiration and motivation for an 18th c. lifestyle. Her fly fringe and knotting tutorials are priceless, along with her how-to on 18th c. hair. Viv is an incredibly talented Lolita designer who incorporates historically accurate 18th c. styles into her modern wardrobe.
Understandably, there are tons more dress blogs and sites that we here at American Duchess have never even seen. If you would like to nominate a blog for a Duchess Award, please post a link in the comments section - and don't be shy if it's your own blog!